So the boys finally talked me into letting them dye their hair. Wow. What a process--their thick, gorgeous dark hair needed hours of peroxide so the color would show up. I was worried about all the chemicals, of course, but this seemed not to matter in the least. And so I have one child with an aqua streak and another whose head positively glows magenta.
I did a few crazy things with my hair as a teen. Nothing major, but some odd cuts, some bleach, and lots of henna over the years. There were the tiny braids which I had visions of growing into dreadlocks (but my scalp got too itchy and I could stand it no longer). Luckily all of these were short lived. And I had a good friend who was a living cautionary tale about the dangers of hair abuse, so I kept things relatively simple. I wanted to shock, but not all that much. I guess I just wanted to be different, and to make my own decisions about my body. If it ticked off my parents, so much the better, but I don't think that was a driving force. However I wouldn't have done any of these things at home or have had my parents involved in the process.
The boys just wanted their hair dyed. It wasn't about proving anything, just an experiment and an adventure. And they were happy to have me there, fussing over the effect of chemicals on tender scalps, laughing at how silly they looked with dye on their heads. I kept wondering if this would be the end of this kind of body silliness or if this was just a beginning and we'd be moving into piercings and tattoos next. It's a new stage for me as a parent as I come to the realization that their bodies are, in fact, their bodies and not extensions of my own.